Citizens' Issues
Suresh Prabhu proposes to set-up SPV to address Mumbai rail issues

After years of neglect, Railway Minister proposes SPV to revamp Mumbai's ailing rail network


Following the sudden outburst of protests and violence in the wake of breakdown of services by the otherwise reliable Mumbai Suburban railway network, today, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has offered some hope to protesters.
Mumbai's train network, though old and creaking under the weight of its task, is among the most reliable and most used networks.
After years of being a mere cash cow and being neglected, Prabhu today hinted at a first effective step that may soon come about.
“We will work with Maharashtra Govt to create separate SPV to address State issues. Discussed with CM. Both Govts will work on it.”
If such focussed attention is indeed given to the Mumbai and Maharashtra rail network, many of the ills of the system could be resolved.
“Suburban rail network is under severe stress. Long neglected. Drawing up plan to revamp it on top priority. Need time to implement. Huge task” Prabhu tweeted after today's incidents in Diva.


Nifty, Sensex headed higher– Friday closing report

Nifty will move up as long it closes above 8,380 tomorrow


After the indices moved in a range on Thursday and closed marginally higher, today the indices opened with a gap and rose gradually except for a small pullback later in the session.

S&P BSE Sensex opened at 27,521 while S&P CNX Nifty opened at 8,289. Both the indices hit their respective days low almost at the same level when the sessions began. Sensex moved up to the level 27,937 while Nifty reached up to 8,411. Sensex closed at 27,888 (up 380 points or 1.38%) while Nifty closed at 8,395 (up 111 points or 1.35%). NSE recorded a volume of 82.33 crore shares. India VIX fell 8.19% to close at 13.7950.

PSU bank stocks will be in focus as the two-day brainstorming session of the finance minister, the RBI governor and chiefs of state-owned banks began today. Among other things, the meeting's agenda includes consolidation and restructuring of PSU banks for better efficiency, governance and capital efficiency. At the session's end tomorrow, a reforms blueprint for phased implementation will be presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The RBI yesterday allowed banks to use immovable and movable assets, financial securities and corporate or personal guarantees as a security to loans given through external commercial borrowings (ECBs). The change was made with a view to liberalise the option of securities, RBI said.

After market hours yesterday the government decided to increase basic excise duty on petrol and diesel (both branded and unbranded) by Rs2 per litre to build 15,000 kilometres of roads during current and next financial year.

The government yesterday also announced the setting up of NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) as replacement for the Planning Commission and said that the NITI Aayog will seek to provide a critical directional and strategic input into the development process.

Adjusted for seasonal factors, the headline HSBC India Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) climbed to a two-year high of 54.5 in December, up from 53.3 in November.

Gujarat Pipavav (12.30%) was among the top two gainers in the ‘A’ group on the BSE.


The stock hit its new 52-week high today. It was recently in the news, as it has entered into an arrangement with NYK Auto Logistics (India) Pvt. Ltd., wherein NYK has been sub-leased land for developing a dedicated common user integrated RO-RO (roll-on/roll-off) yard at Pipavav Port. The yard is expected to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2015 and will be provided with all port and related facilities by Gujarat Pipavav Port.

Muthoot Finance (4.51%) was among the top four losers in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It is set to acquire 51% stake in Asia Asset Finance Plc, Sri Lanka. HDFC (4.30%) was the top gainer in Sensex 30 pack. All other housing finance companies were in demand too.

Mahindra & Mahindra (0.92%) was the top loser in the Sensex 30 stock. Weak December sales pulled the stock lower.

On Thursday US markets were closed for New Year's Day holiday. Except for KLSE Composite (0.48%) all the other Asian indices which were trading today closed in the green. Hang Seng (1.07%) was the top gainer. European indices were trading in the red while US Futures were trading higher.


LIC Housing Finance re-possesses Orbit's tower for failing to repay loan

In a rare case of a government lender going after big fish for Loan recovery, the DRT allowed LICHFL to take over Orbit's tower for recovery


Following orders from the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT), LIC Housing Finance Limited (LICHFL) has taken over physical possession of Orbit Corporation's luxury real estate development project, Orbit Grand.
LICHFL said in a release that it took possession of the 35-storeyed tower on 24 December 2014, following a loan repayment demand notice issued to Orbit on 21 February 2014.
The loan in question was its Rs95 crore loan which was sanctioned with the said tower as collateral. The tower was to be an upscale apartment tower, in which even now at least 18 apartments have been left out of the mortgage.
Orbit Corporation said in a filing with the BSE that the DRT had allowed Orbit to continue construction work on the tower for completion of the project.
Managing director of Orbit Corporation Punit Agarwal and chairman, Ravikiran Agarwal were the guarantors for the loan.
The tower is located in Lower Parel area of Central Mumbai which has seen many major luxury real estate projects. However, many builders have faced cash crunches as a result of the slowing real estate demand and piled up inventories. Banks have also tightened lending to the sector.


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